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  • Given kibosh's early-19th c. entry into English, I wager its provenance from Arabic's kurbash - whip, riding crop, lash. Heritage gives the following as well: '1836, kye-bosk, in slang phrase put the kibosh on, of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. Looks Yiddish, but origin in early 19c. English slang seems to argue against this. One candidate is Ir. caip bháis, caipín báis "cap of death," sometimes said to be the black cap a judge would don when pronouncing a death sentence, but in other sources identified as a gruesome method of execution "employed by Brit. forces against 1798 insurgents" Bernard Share, "Slanguage, A Dictionary of Irish Slang".'

    May 18, 2013

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